Perhaps the problem with a stylus or digital pen for tablets is the fact they are yet another tool you need to carry around. For instance, I rarely use my Surface Pro 3's pen, ergo I did not pack it for this trip. What if I had a situation where I wanted to use it? Well, I am out of luck.
Lenovo solved this problem on their Yoga Tablet 2 with AnyPen technology, which was announced yesterday. Instead of a specialized writing instrument, Lenovo lets you use virtually anything on their tablet: scissors, a knife, pencil, pen, and yes, even a carrot.
Yoga Tablet 2 (8-inch)
- 15-hours battery
- 8-inch (1920x1200) IPS display
- Intel Atom Processor Z3745 (2M Cache, four cores, up to 1.86 GHz)
- Twin large chamber front speakers with Dolby Audio
- 2 GB LPDDR3 (64-bit) RAM +16 GB EMMC storage + 64 GB expandable with Micro SD
- 8 MP AF rear / 1.6 MP FF front cameras
- Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi
- Windows 8.1
- Four modes: Hold, Tilt, Stand and Hang
AnyPen is some interesting technology. In essence, Lenovo has just cranked up the sensitivity to touch, letting objects with a very small profile (e.g. tip of a sharpened pencil) invoke the OS to respond to touch. The real world application means you can use a fat stubby tool or a sharp one for actual brush size changes, or invest in a really high-quality stylus (much like how people buy luxury pens). Lenovo's tech makes writing on a tablet "as intuitive as writing on a piece of paper".
Combined with that handwriting text-entry tool that we showcased before, and Lenovo could figure out this whole stylus-handwriting-tablet conundrum that has plagued the PC industry for years now. Toss this feature into a Lenovo ThinkPad 8 (one of my favorite tablets) and enterprise users could have a killer new tool.
For now, AnyPen will remain with the new 8-inch Yoga Tablet 2, but Lenovo sees this as a long-term investment, meaning it should come to other devices in the future.